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Product matters

A number of groups are launching new funds at the mom-ent. Given the present state of the investment market, they will prob-ably struggle to obtain much new money.

A headache for marketing departments but a godsend to investors brave enough to venture out. Smaller funds with dynamic fund managers who are heavily incentivised make for a potent mix. One group that has caught my eye is JO Hambro, which is launching four new funds. The UK emerging and recovery funds are to be run by Max King, well known for his successful management of Finsbury.

However, it is the other two funds that have caught my eye – UK growth, to be run by Mark Costar, and the European fund, to be managed by Rod Marsden.

Marsden ran one of the best-performing European funds at Sanwa, consistently beating the average fund by a significant margin, but the honours have gone to Powe, Guy and Bolton. Costar&#39s performance also remained mainly buried at Clerical Medical. In 1996 until earlier this year, he ran Clerical&#39s UK growth fund, also consistently beating the peer group.

These funds are placed in Dublin as Ucits (FSA-recognised). Why? Because it is the only way to make provision for a performance fee, which is 15 per cent of the fund outperformance of the benchmark plus 1 per cent (with a high watermark). The fund managers therefore have incentives to work hard and, just as important, stay on, with their interests aligned to the fund holders. How many fund managers can you say that about?

Mark Dampier is head of research at Hargreaves Lansdown

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